It is with deep sadness that we share the news that the founder of The Moorings, Charlie Cary passed away on June 14, 2007 in Vero Beach, Florida where he has resided for a number of years. Charlie was 89 years old upon his passing.
Charlie and his wife Ginny (also deceased) founded The Moorings on July 4, 1969 in the British Virgin Islands with six 35-foot Pearson yachts. The Cary’s vision and passion for sailing successfully provided the opportunity for hundreds of thousands of people to realize their dreams of cruising in exotic locations. With his leadership, the company grew to over 850 yachts in more than 30 locations and operating in over 20 countries worldwide.
“Words alone cannot do justice to the impact that Charlie has had on so many lives all over the sailing world and particularly for us at The Moorings, his genuine love and caring for people from Tonga to St Lucia and particularly the British Virgin Islands is unmatched. His love of the ocean, his incredible wit, but above all his easy demeanor is what we will always remember. He has left an indelible mark on the sailing world and a legacy that we at The Moorings intend to carry forth and know will be enjoyed for perpetuity among sailors all over the world.” Commented The Moorings CEO Lex Raas.
The Moorings Legacy
Charlie earned a degree in industrial engineering from the University of Maryland, completed his graduate work at the Harvard Business School, and joined the Navy in 1943. By this time he had married his junior high sweetheart Ginny who accompanied him when they deployed to Bermuda. For recreation he started sailing, which was to lay the foundation for his lifelong love of the water and boats. He was discharged in 1946 and it’s reported that they bought a boat – Lightning – before even acquiring their first house. They moved to New Orleans and rejoined his former employer, Freeport-McMoran Copper and Gold Inc. He moved up the corporate ladder while always staying involved in sailing, moving through a succession of boats 28-foot Gulf one-design, Knarr a 40-foot wooden yawl, to an Alberg 35 called Flying Ginny. The first of many Flying Ginny’s to be owned and enjoyed by the Cary’s.
His corporate career was moving as fast as his progression through yachts and just prior to his 50th birthday he was faced with a decision that proved to be the most fortuitous for The Moorings. He was offered a promotion to a position in his company located in the Northeast. After watching a blizzard outside the hotel of his potential new location he made a firm decision to decline the promotion. In Charlie’s words “I knew it was the end of the line. That’s when we decided to look into making our hobby our vocation.”
They left to sail throughout the Caribbean on their 44-foot yawl and followed their dreams to the British Virgin Islands, having been captivated by pictures of a famous yawl anchored in the BVI’s captured in a major yachting magazine. Upon arriving they immediately began looking for opportunities with the intent of opening a charter business. Out of this journey The Moorings was officially started on July 4, 1969 with a fine fleet of six 35-foot Pearson Yachts.
The Moorings Grows
Over the next decade Charlie collaborated with Florida yacht builders such as Charlie Morgan of Morgan yachts and Vince Lazarra of Gulfstar yachts, and in the 1980’s with Beneteau, a world class yacht builder in France, to produce the best charter yachts in the industry. Over these years the company purchased a prime piece of waterfront property in Tortola’s Road Harbour which remains the flagship base for The Moorings. During the ensuing years Charlie led The Moorings to expand into St. Lucia, St. Martin, Martinique, Bahamas, The South Pacific with Tahiti, Tonga, Australia, New Zealand and into the Mediterranean with locations in Greece, Balearic Islands, The French Riviera and Corsica. Charlie had the vision to drive this growth through several mergers with strong local partners while always retaining The Moorings culture and brand. Charlie was always adamant about this focus as recounted by a past CEO Arthur Warshaw about his time with Charlie in the late 1990’s. “I first met Charlie in 1996…we became closer when I took over as CEO of The Moorings in 1997. In many ways, Charlie was a beacon for me…his caring for the company and love of the people always remained a guiding principle for all of us!”
“Over the next decade Charlie’s original passion for introducing sailors from around the world to the wonders of exploring a new land from the deck of a sailboat, provided the foundation for The Moorings to continue to grow throughout the world, lead the industry in the development of catamarans for a charter sailing vacation, while always focusing on enhancing the communities in which we operate. We are deeply indebted to his vision and leadership and he will be greatly missed.” Commented, Lex Raas.
The Moorings is the world’s premier yacht charter company, with bareboat (sail-it-yourself) and crewed charters (with professional captain and chef), in some of the most desirable locations in the Caribbean, South Pacific, Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and North America. The Moorings has 800 employees, more than 850 yachts in over 30 locations and offers the largest catamaran charter fleet in the world. Customers are served from direct sales offices in the United States, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Australia and an exclusive broker network.
For more information, contact The Moorings at 1-800-368-9991 or visit www.moorings.com.